08 July 2015

David ASPDEN (1935-2005), Outer spice, 1969The Samstag Museum of Art is premiering two major new exhibitions this month: Birth of the Cool and Geoff Wilson: Interrogated Landscape, coinciding with the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.

Birth of the Cool will survey the decade of abstraction between 1963 and 1973 through the work of four painters: David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Michael Johnson and Dick Watkins, and their common idiom: hard-edge, colour-field abstraction, while the extensive survey exhibition Geoff Wilson: Interrogated Landscape recognises the lifetime achievement of an exceptional South Australian artist.

Samstag Director Erica Green says that over the past few years a reappraisal of the art and artists of the 1960s has been in full swing.

“Birth of the Cool will contribute to this reconsideration by presenting some of the most brilliant works drawn from private and institutional collections across Australia,” Green says.

“The Geoff Wilson: Interrogated Landscape exhibition is thoughtfully researched and curated by Barry Pearce, the celebrated former head curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and principal author of the accompanying scholarly book published by Samstag Museum of Art.

“The Wilson project has been our privilege to take an initiative that others, strangely, have overlooked; for Geoff Wilson’s accomplishments in a long life in art have escaped the institutional acknowledgement they warrant.

“In fact Wilson’s significant body of accumulated work, and his long, sustained progress to maturity as an artist over an extraordinary career of seventy years, have remained unexamined with the critical weight and depth that a public art museum can provide."

Green adds that she is particularly proud of the Samstag Museum’s new book, Geoff Wilson: Interrogated Landscape, which features over seventy colour plates spanning Wilson’s artistic oeuvre from 1949 to 2013. The book also includes a selection of interviews conducted by John Neylon.

The Birth of the Cool exhibition is curated by Terence Maloon, Director of the Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University. Maloon is one of Australia’s most respected curators, including major exhibitions of international art, and he has contributed an extensive essay to the e-publication available on the Samstag website.

Both exhibitions will be launched by Amanda Vanstone, Chair of Samstag Museum of Art Board on Thursday 16 July 2015 and be open from 17 July to 18 September 2015.. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 11–5pm, Thursdays to 7pm and Saturday 2–5pm. The Samstag Museum of Art is located at 55 North Terrace, City West Campus, University of South Australia.

 Image Credit: David ASPDEN (1935-2005), Outer spice, 1969, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 152.4 x 244.0 x 2.8 cm, Art Gallery of New South Wales. Photograph AGNSW, © Karen Aspden, OA19. 1970

Contact for interviews:

Erica Green, Director, Samstag Museum of Art 0438 821 239 email erica.green@unisa.edu.au

UniSA Media contact: Will Venn office (08) 8302 0096 email will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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